Friday, June 21, 2019

Priests gather in time for visit of saint’s relic in Cebu

Healing touch. Devotees of San Padre Pio touch the glass casement of the saint’s relic on display at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. (SunStar Foto / Arni Aclao)

THE heart relic of San Padre Pio was transferred yesterday from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to the IEC Pavilion in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, where it will stay until tomorrow morning, when it will be flown to its next stop, Davao City.

Before it was moved out of the cathedral, a send-off mass was held with Palo Archbishop John Du. The arrival of the relic at the IEC Pavilion coincided with the gathering in Cebu of priests and religious from different dioceses in the Visayas for their recollection.

The public can view the heart of the saint from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. San Padre Pio’s heart is said to have been uncorrupted.

At 3 p.m. today, a mass will be held in the IEC Pavilion, sponsored by the World Apostolate of Fatima. A veneration of the relic will follow from 4 to 9 p.m.

At midnight, an anticipated mass will be held to be officiated by Fr. Jonald Concha of the Cebu Archdiocese.

Tomorrow at 6 a.m., a farewell mass will be held at the IEC Pavilion to be led by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo, before the relic is sent to Davao.

Du encouraged devotees to make Padre Pio a model of somebody who changed his ways by accepting Jesus Christ in his heart.

Du said San Padre Pio used to be a man who easily got angry, until he allowed Christ in his heart. He became compassionate, kind and understanding to other people, which eventually led to his canonization.

“He is here with us, loving us, interceding for us to God the father... He is always praying for all of us, especially the sick,” Du said.

San Pedro Pio is the first stigmatist of the Catholic Church, getting the wounds at age 31. Stigmata is a term used to describe the manifestations of wounds in locations corresponding to those of Christ during his Passion and crucifixion. SCG


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